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Larry Ott’s WNY Auto Racing: Holland planning for 2017

Holland Motorsports Complex general manager Tim Bennett will be “testing the waters” at the track’s NASCAR sanctioned stock car season finale on Sept. 3.

On the night when Holland’s various divisional season champions will be determined, the testing will help determine the direction of Holland’s race program for 2017.

While it’s very premature, Bennett’s testing assessment could even spell the return of the NASCAR Pro Modified/Sportsman type cars to the headline status.

Bennett announced Friday that he has made some key additions and changes to Holland’s Sept. 3 race event.

A NASCAR Pro-Modified/Sportsman type 75-lap special has been added. Bennett has secured sponsorship for Southtown Tire of Holland and Paul Graff Trucking to support the race.

Bennett said the NASCAR Pro Modified/Sportsman teams are being rewarded with the extra event because of their good car count for the Decker Memorial 75, on July 30 at Holland. The Decker was the only other NASCAR Pro Modified/Sportsman race this season at Holland.

Also on Sept. 3, the NASCAR Chargers will be showcased in a 75-lap event at Holland that will be divided into two segments, first a 35 lap and then a final 40 lap contest with the overall winner earning $750-to-win.

Finally, the Hornet 50 as well as all other weekly Holland classes will also run.

“If you like racing this will be your special night because we’re going to have plenty of it on Sept 3 based on the changes we have made for that evening’s race program,” said Bennett.

The NASCAR Pro Modified/Sportsman was the premier weekly class at Holland from 2007 until the conclusion of last season. Last winter Bennett determined that the car counts were no longer sufficient in that division and jettisoned the NASCAR Pro Modifieds/Sportsman as the premier weekly class there and replaced them with the NASCAR Chargers.

NASCAR Pro Modifieds/Sportsman were scheduled for just a few special appearances at Holland this season. When 20 cars participated in the special Decker race, Bennett was encouraged.

“When we ran the Decker Memorial, we had a great car count here that night so I decided that I would reward them with having them back another time this season and I have added them to the race program on Sept. 3,” said Bennett. “I am testing the waters. If they produce a great car count on Sept. 3, I will then analyze everything in the offseason and it will help to determine where the NASCAR Pro Modifieds fit in, relative to our 2017 plans.”

Bennett even said that a positive result on Sept. 3 could spell the return of the NASCAR Pro Modifieds as the NASCAR headlining premier class again next season. They could also run specials only again next season at Holland or perhaps not run there at all.

“I want to provide a racing home for any divisions that will support us with good car counts whether it be NASCAR Pro Modifieds or something else,” said Bennett.

This season the NASCAR Chargers have produced car counts in the ten to 14 range which is not that strong. Bennett said that he believes the NASCAR Chargers have had good on-track racing and have been a very competitive class this season.

It should be noted that Holland’s NASCAR Pro Modified/Sportsman car counts on Sept. 3 could be impacted by the fact that Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway is already scheduled to be off that evening so their Sportsman teams would be available to run at Holland should they choose to do so.

On the other hand, Wyoming County International Speedway, which like Lancaster runs Sportsman every Saturday night, is featuring their SST Sportsman 100 on Sept. 3. How this conflict will affect which local teams choose to support WCIS and which go to Holland remains to be seen.

“I know there are other tracks out there but the Saturday of each Labor Day Weekend has been a special race night at Holland for over the last 20 years,” said Bennett. “I want the extra-special status of that Labor Day race night to continue as our special night each season at Holland.

“This Sept. 3, with the NASCAR Pro Modified 75, the NASCAR Charger 75, the Hornet 50 and all our other classes in action plus the season championships on the line this will be the big special event that is our Labor Day Weekend tradition.”

While Holland’s 2016 stock car finale is Sept. 3. the overall season concludes with the Crash-A-Rama on Sept. 10 featuring “Cannon Lady.”

Ransomville rain

After 16 consecutive weeks of racing at Ransomville Speedway, the Niagara County dirt oval suffered its first rainout of the season on Friday night.

When racing resumes next week Pete Bicknell will continue in search of his 14th career Ransomville Modified championship. Bicknell leads defending Ransomville DIRT.car 358 Modified titlist Ryan Susice by six points with just three races left.

In the DIRT.car Sportsman Ransomville standings Matt Farnham leads James Henry by 23 points. Cory Sawyer tops Mike Short by a 37 point edge in Street Stocks. Cole Susice has a 19 point advantage over Chad Lederhouse in the Four Bangers points. In the closest Ransomville battle, Andrew Spurback has a slim two-point lead over Anthony Muscato in Novice Sportsman.

Freedom rain

Although Freedom Motorsports Park like Ransomville features its racing program on Friday evenings, the Delevan dirt track has had an opposite rain scenario this season. The facility lost a third consecutive week of racing to rain last Friday. Delevan will try again to put on a racing show next Friday.

email: lawrence_o_14075@yahoo.com

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